Discussing religion and culture with the Tamil Students’ Association
November 20, 2017
The Tamil Students’ Association (TSA) is an all-inclusive club in which individuals who are Tamil, as well as individuals who are interested in the Tamil culture, can take part. Members of the TSA hold meetings every Wednesday where they embrace all aspects of the Tamil culture and serve delectable sweets. Tharini Thevakumar is the executive leader and an avid member of the Tamil society at VP.
Tooba Elahi: What aspects does TSA focus on during their meetings?
Tharini Thevakumar: TSA is a place where the Tamil community at Victoria Park can get together and express their culture. It is also a place for us as a club to bond and bring the Tamil culture to Victoria Park.
TE: What inspires you to take on the role to represent the Tamil community at Victoria Park?
TT: After seeing how the club ran last year, I really wanted to change it so that people don’t think that this is just a place to hang out at lunch. This year we, as a club, want to represent the Tamil community at this school and bring events to showcase the amazing culture that Tamil people have. Also, for the four years that I was at Victoria Park, I didn’t see a voice or a place for the Tamil community and I felt like it was about time!
TE: What events has TSA planned for the upcoming months?
TT: As a group, we want to showcase the Tamil culture at Victoria Park. We are planning on a Games Night where we will be teaching the staff and students how to play some common Tamil games. These are usually played at picnics, family dinners, and at any special occasion. We are also planning on a multicultural night where we would like to partner up with other cultural groups in the school and showcase Victoria Park’s talent and their culture.
TE: What does it mean to you to identify as a Tamil student?
TE: I’m proud of the Tamil heritage and the cultural aspects of being a Tamil person. It also has a lot of familial meaning behind it as my entire family grew up with speaking, reading, and writing Tamil.
TE: What is one issue you would like to address regarding how TSA is running?
TT: An issue that TSA faces is that for us as a group to proceed with an idea, we need to know that there is support from the school body, and we would need to know that the staff and students are willing to come to these events that the committee is working really hard on.
TE:What is the importance of religion to you?
TT: We don’t discuss the topic of religion at our meetings. A Tamil person could be Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, or can practice any religion that they want to.